Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

It was another day in Pistoia. The program alternates one day in Pistoia and one day out in the world touring. We headed off in the morning to town with Jeffrey. When we were in Pistoia the first day, we were not able to see the altar for the Duomo, and we did not see one of the other churches. That was the mission to be accomplished for the day.

We spent a lot of time in front of the altar, and it was beautiful. The altar contains a relic of the finger bone of one of the important saints. It put Pistoia on the pilgrimage map to have such a relic, so Pistoia made the appropriate response of building a very expensive altar for it.

The altar is made of pure silver, and is about six feet wide and nine feet tall. I wish that I had a photo of it, because it is fantastic. It contains stories from the life of Christ as well as from the life of the saint whose relics it contains. We spent a lot of time in the room with Jeffrey going over the stories and the quality of the workmanship. I’m glad that Pistoia made the decision to commission the work because it is very beautiful.

After that, we headed over to another church. It was a small and minor church, but it is nice to experience churches of different caliber when you are walking around learning about the history of a culture. Even though the church was small and private feeling, it had a lot of great works of art. We spent a lot of time looking at and evaluating the pulpit that has been made by Giovanni Pisano. It was beautiful. We got some other time to look around the church, and I must say that I would have been happy to worship in it if I were a Catholic Pistoian.

After our trip with Jeffrey, everyone headed home. I started to conceive the idea that I am going to use for my journal, and I got to work on it.

In the afternoon, we had classes. Liz taught the basics of photography and then Jane taught us all how to draw circles and straight lines. Of course I need more practice. Drawing is like torture to me, but I must overcome that feeling and be able to do it with some skill before I leave.

After dinner, we read Dante with Jeffrey. It is very fun to be able to read one of the works of a man with such a legacy in history.

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